the secret to buying clothes you’ll actually wear!
recently, a friend asked me the following question:
“how (do i) shop with specific outfits in mind? i somehow end up with a lot of separates (tops, skirts etc), and no clear idea how, or if, they even go together.”
unless you have a particular event that you’re shopping for, your goal when shopping should NOT be to buy an entire outfit.
the goal is to have a wardrobe of versatile pieces that mostly work well with one another.
how do you achieve that?
well, it all actually starts way before you step foot into a store.
here’s exactly how you can start buying clothes you’ll actually wear:
step 1: know your body shape (you knew that one was gonna top the list right?)
step 2: evaluate your lifestyle… maybe even make a list of all of your daily activities
step 3: do a closet cleanse - create 3 piles: alter, give away & consignment. go through every item in your closet and if it’s an item you never wear or isn’t 100% perfect on you, it belongs in one of those 3 piles
step 4: once you’ve completed your closet cleanse, analyze the give away/consignment pile closely. do those items no longer work for you because they’re outdated, are no longer your size, don’t suit your body shape or because they don’t suit your current lifestyle?
step 5: if most items are outdated and no longer fit your body, ask yourself if these pieces are part of your go to staples, and decide if you’d like to replace them with updated versions. make a list if you’d like to update them.
step 5b: if most of your give away/consignment pile doesn’t suit your lifestyle, than you’ll have to work a little harder at building a wardrobe you love. using your list of daily activities from above, make another list of what specific clothing pieces/styles and fabrics would NOT be a good fit for your lifestyle. then make a list of what pieces WILL work for your lifestyle and your body shape… this is now your master shopping list.
step 6: determine the gaps in your wardrobe. what are you constantly wishing you had when getting dressed? make a list. add this to your master shopping list.
and as i’ve said before, shopping can be very stressful, which often times results in bad purchases.
so be smart about your shopping.
here’s how to make shopping easier:
- decide to look for one category of clothing per shopping trip. for example if you’re looking for pants, be specific. are you looking for jeans, dress pants or khakis?
- give yourself a 2 hour window, during the time of day when it’s least crowded in stores
- wear clothing that you can easily get in + out of, in order to try on items in stores. and always wear comfortable shoes!
- take pictures of yourself in the mirror while in the dressing room. this will give you a completely different perspective of the item, and will add to your decision making process.
- try and make purchases at stores that allow returns so you can take items home and try them on with the pieces you currently have in your closet. if an item can be paired with multiple pieces in your closet, it’s a keeper. but if it only works well with 1 piece (or worse none), take it back!
this process will not be easy and it will take some time + commitment on you’re part, but i’m telling you, if you follow all the steps above, you’re closet will definitely have more items in it that you love + wear, than not.
how much of the clothing hanging in your closet right now do YOU wear?
if you’re hovering at about 20%, then try my steps above out, and then please come back and let me know how it went!